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ALEXANDER VON  HUMBOLBT.                 73
ened Humboldt here as it had done in Angostura.,
but Bonpland regained full strength and activity
during the four weeks Humboldt was ill.
Their first care now was to forward the treasures
they had collected to Europe, so that they might, tin-
encupibered, prosecute their search for more trophies.
A young missionary who, seven months before, had
at his first acquaintance with Hximboldt shown a
lively interest in his expedition., volunteered to ac-
^ompany the travellers to Cuba, and there to set sail
with the rich collection, and a boy, who was confided
to his care for education in Spain.
Humboldt accepted the welcome proposal, as he
thought lie could not send his collections and a por-
tion, of his manuscripts home by a safer opportunity.
How painfully it must have moved him on his sub-
sequent return to Europe to hear that the whole con-
signment of his collections, as well as the young mis-
sionary and the boy, had been entirely lost at sea.
Humboldt waited in vain for a packet-boat,
as usually sail between Ooraima, Havannah, and
Mexico. As none had arrived for three months, it
was feared that English cruisers must have seized
them, and Humboldt and his companions wished to
reach Cumana as quickly as** possible. They there-
fore embarked on an open vessel laden, with cocoa,
whose owner thought that as he served the smuggling
trade with Trinidad he need not fear the English
vessels. But it was soon brought up by a privateer.
Humboldt and his companions had to go on board,
and while they were yet treating in the interest of
their own. captain, an English war-sloop canae up and
liberated the boat. The captain of the sloop received
Humboldt in a very friendly manner, and he felt
agreeably excited, after a long sojourn among savages,
to see and speak with Europeans again. In Cumana,
also, Humboldt and Bonpland were the more affec-
tionately welcomed by their friends, as the report
had been spread here that the bold travellers had
been killed some months before, on the Orinocco. But